By Stephanie Toone, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
(CNT) City News Talk #local-all
The president said he does not plan to call victory prematurely as results come in Election Day
The contentious race for president has brought discussion about the possibility of the winning candidate being called Wednesday and even days or weeks before the results are cleared.
President Donald Trump on Tuesday revealed that in light of the precarious nature of the results, he will not call a potential victory prematurely.
He made the statements about the results of the contest between himself and former Vice President Joe Biden during an interview with “Fox & Friends” on Election Day. In the interview, he said he would declare himself the winner “only when there’s a victory,” adding that “there’s no reason to play games.”
“I think we’ll have victory. I think the polls are, you know, suppression polls. And I think we’ll have victory. But only when there’s victory. I mean, you know, there’s no reason to play games. And I think we’ll have victory.”
The level-headed statements about the dead-heat presidential race received much praise and response Tuesday. On Sunday, the president said he would enlist his lawyers once the election ends to ensure the legitimacy of votes in battleground states. According to Axios, the president said he was suspicious of Supreme Court rulings in Pennsylvania and North Carolina that would allow absentee ballots postmarked before Election Day and arriving right before Tuesday to count.
“I think it was a terrible decision for our country. And I think it was a very dangerous decision for our country,” Trump said. “Because you’re going to have one or two or three states, depending on how it ends up, where they’re tabulating ballots and the rest of the world is waiting to find out. And I think there’s great danger to it, and I think a lot of fraud and misuse can take place. I think it’s a terrible decision by the Supreme Court. A terrible decision.”
He previously lambasted the growing trend of mail-in voting, dismissing the efforts as a means to undermine his bid for reelection and a recipe for fraud. In June, Trump tweeted that mail-in ballots would lead to the “scandal of our times.”
“RIGGED 2020 ELECTION: MILLIONS OF MAIL-IN BALLOTS WILL BE PRINTED BY FOREIGN COUNTRIES, AND OTHERS. IT WILL BE THE SCANDAL OF OUR TIMES,” his tweet read.
His statements about whether he would make the transition smooth if Biden was elected have drawn controversy. When asked about it during the first presidential debate, he did not settle on an answer as to whether he would contest the results. At a rally in September, the president said the media was drumming up reactions about what would come after Tuesday’s results, according to a previous NPR report.
“Then they say, ‘He doesn’t want to turn over government’ — of course I do. But it’s got to be a fair election,” he said, before repeating unfounded claims about widespread voter fraud.